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The energy of color affects your decor

February 21, 2009|By ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN / Scripps Howard News Service

Scientists have studied the effect of color on our mood, health and way of thinking for many years. Our preference of one color over another may have something to do with the way color makes us feel.

Light is absorbed by the eye and converted into another form of energy, which enables us to see color. This energy affects and is felt even by people without sight.

Light energy stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands, which regulate hormones and other physiological systems in the body.

We know that red stimulates, excites and warms the body, increases the heart rate, brain-wave activity and respiration. Mothers are encouraged to stimulate infants' brains by dangling mobiles containing bright red balls on them.

If high blood pressure, hypertension or poor coordination plagues a person, he or she should not decorate rooms with the color red.

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Pink has a soothing effect. Pink's tranquilizing effect has gained it entrance in prisons, hospital rooms and drug centers.

Are there finicky eaters in your kitchen? Try using an orange tablecloth or placemats. Orange stimulates the appetite and reduces fatigue. Of course, if you're on a diet, avoid orange.

Yellow is a memory stimulator. A touch of yellow in every room might just help in remembering where you left the keys or the eyeglasses. Yellow also raises blood pressure and pulse rate, but not to the degree red does.

Green reminds us of spring and, therefore, new beginnings. It brings feelings of calm anticipation and hope and it has a soothing and relaxing effect on the body as well as the mind. Still on that diet? Green is good, as it could help control the anxiety associated with the discipline of controlling yourself from overeating. Maybe that avocado-green refrigerator isn't such a bad thing after all.

Blue is another relaxing color. Pleasant dreams might be the end result of coloring the bedroom in shades of blue. It has a calming effect on the body, it lowers blood pressure, heart rate and respiration, and in hot, humid weather, blue has a cooling effect.

A study shows that blue in the classroom can be a good thing. Children prone to tantrums and aggressive behavior became calmer after being in a classroom painted blue. Both blind and sighted children reacted the same when placed in blue surroundings.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color," available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Amazon.com.

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